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Assistance required for PC transfer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Dan101278, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    How do,

    First post so be gentle.

    I have a ZOOM MRS-1044 which I've had for a few years. I've transferred tracks onto mini-disc which (somehow) I managed to transfer to my old PC via the mic input and put onto CD with no problems. I have replaced my PC and now find it cannot be done.

    I have since learnt that this is due to mini-disc being analog and therefore not compatible with PC directly. (God knows how I managed it before then!)

    So I tried to go direct from the Zoom (which is HD so should be compatible) via the headphones to mic input and it produces the same result - 'pops' and 'crackles' and a sort of tremelo effect which I don't particularly want.

    I've looked at variou threads and googled a lot and I keep seeing 'interface' and such like but this means nothing to me.

    I only need stereo to be output as the songs are complete. I have 1/4", RCA, MIDI and digital outs on the ZOOM and obviously only the mic or USB inputs on the PC. As it should be a straight digital transfer do I need an interface or anything else or will a simple cable which converts one of the outputs on the ZOOM to a USB connection do the job?

    I appreciate any help in advance!
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Why aren't you just putting your cd's in the computer and reading them on the computer?
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    My guess is that these are new compositions. At any rate, can you give some specs on your new comp? I would personally scour craigslist for a used minidisc player with a usb port. That is, if such an animal exists.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Which version of the Zoom do you have? One version has a built in CD burner. Both have the possibility of an optional USB add on card though that would be an ebay find at this point.

    Your Zoom has both RCA analog and SPDif 2 channel optical in either case. An interface is your best bet for good transfers. All an interface does is take your signal (analog or digital) and bring it into the PC for archive, editing, storage, whatever.

    There aren't any truly cheap options for optical inputs. For firewire there is the Konnekt 24D or Profire 610. For USB there is the Edirol UA-25EX. If you get more expensive than the Edirol you might as well get firewire or upgrade your Zoom porta studio.

    Now. Can you get the signal from the headphone jack of the Zoom to the computer mic in? Yes. The problem is that what you really need is a line in port not a mic port. Therein is you big issue other than overloading the mic port.

    Cheaper interfaces without the digital inputs can be had that would handle the analog transfer.

    I can't really help much more than that without info on your particular computer.
  5. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    Indeed, they are new compositions! :)

    I have an Acer Veriton 464 Intel Pentium dual core running Vista. I don't really have any music software other than Kristal which I downloaded.

    I hadn't really needed anything before as I've been using the Zoom exclusively to do everything (for my needs it does the job) so I literally just need a way of transferring the data from the Zoom to the PC without distortion in a format that I can burn to CD.

    Your suggestion of a minidisc player with a USB port wold that not leave me in the same position as minidisc is analog is it not? Would something like tha Alesis IO2 do the job?
  6. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    Alas I have the non-CD Zoom and I thought the USB add-on would be easier if I could find one anywhere! Seem to be out of luck there - even on ebay! I'm not fussed on which of the outputs I use (only in that I'd obviously prefer which will obviously provide the better transfer quality v cost ratio!)

    As you have stated - long term it may be more practical to simply get a better HD multi-track recorder - however I don't want to lose what I've got and still want to trasnfer the existing tracks (cost prohibits an upgrade for a while! :) )

    So it looks like I need a basic interface then? You'll have to pardon my ignorance but what is it about my PC you need to know with regard to suggestions? I did put it's basic spec in the post above - let me know if that doesn't cover it.

    So the mic input is basically suffering due to overload then? How to go about getting a line input or is that basically what the interface provides?

    Thanks so far for the responses! I really want to get this sorted! :)
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This is a desktop correct? I think that I would skip the firewire and usb interfaces altogether and pick up a PCI card that has ADAT/SPdif optical connections. While I like the RME options out there they might be overkill for you. Here is a nice little two channel PCI breakout box with optical spdif.

  8. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    Indeed it is desktop. Thanks very much for the suggestion. Again with my ignorance coming to the fore - RME options? As all an interface does is transfer the data from one source to another - given that my multi-tracker is hard drive based and there is no need to convert from analog-digital it's just a straight digital-digital transfer would a simple 1/4" jack to USB cable not do the job as from what you mentioned before the problem I am having thus far is that the mic input is being overloaded - would going via the USB solve this issue?
  9. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Hey Jack, wouldn't an EMU 0404 card work? Dan could use either the RCA inputs or the s/pdif connection from the zoom?
  10. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    ^That looks quite good. And cheaper which is always a bonus! :)

    As it seems all I need is a soundcard with a line input would any soundcard do? I don't need effects or any processors (that I'm aware of) so would any soundcard with a line input work or am I missing something?
  11. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The vast majority of soundcards are not made for high end audio, mostly gaming and pc mics so I believe the answer to your dilemna lies elsewhere.
    Basically that E-Mu card is an audio card. Though this is an area that I am pretty sketchy in so wait for the experts to weigh in on this.
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    JG: The EMU should work. I hadn't seen (or maybe had forgotten) that it was PCI based. I'm nearly all laptop based now so haven't stayed up too much on PCI cards.

    Dan: The interface either routes signals that are already digital (like your optical spdif) or takes analog signals (headphone jack) and digitizes them. There is no such thing as a straight wire 1/4" TRS to USB converter. That is what the interface does.

    RME is one of the major players in audio recording interfaces. But they are not cheap. On the other hand, they are hard to outgrow unless your whole recording model changes. For you, the EMU is a better choice.
  13. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    So Dan if you use the E-Mu then it would be best to go s/pdif that way your Zoom is sending a digital signal right through the card to your recording software avoiding dig/analog conversion coming out of the Zoom and A/D back again in the E-Mu. The card installs in an empty slot in your desktop and you will need the correct cable, s/pdif. You will need to check if the s/pdif on the zoom is optical or coaxial the E-Mu accepts either.
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Zoom is optical SPDif which is what posed the most difficulty finding a cheap interface.

    Regarding optical cables, it is important to care for them. Protect the tips at all times and use the cover caps that should come with a quality optical cable.
  15. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    Thanks both of you for the info - really appreciated. Looks like the E-mu is the way to go then. Hopefully this will sort it out and I can get my tunes on CD! :)

    Just regarding the 1/4" to USB lead (to satisfy my curiosity)- what is the purpose of them then? I have seen them for about £20 and the blurb says it converts the signal internally "a soundcard on a wire" as such. However it says it takes the sound via "mono" jack so would it output it to the computer as mono cos this seems fairly redundant from the start.

    Here is an example:

  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This has a converter but I would seriously doubt that it is of any quality whatsoever. Technically it would work in certain situations but it would only work poorly IMHO.

    Keep looking for the usb card for you recorder. Just don't pay any significant money for it since it can't possibly be new and might or might not still function.
  17. Dan101278

    Dan101278 Guest

    Fair enough. Thanks again for the help.

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